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Gators end regular season with win
lanier tries to turn DP
Bulloch Academy’s Kaylee Lanier gets a force out at second during Monday’s 14-6 win over Thomas Jefferson. - photo by RAHN HUTCHESON/Special
     Bulloch Academy wound up its regular season on a high note Monday afternoon as the second-ranked Lady Gators run ruled Thomas Jefferson Academy 14-6 in five innings.
    “I’ve been waiting all year long for the girls to have an offensive explosion like this,” said BA head coach Chandler Dennard. “The balls that we hit hard right at people all season long seemed to find the gaps today.”
    The Lady Gators (14-10) pounded out 15 hits in the contest, nine of those coming in the opening inning.
    In the bottom of the first, 13 BA batters scored nine runs. Kelcie Jacobs, Addie Reddick and Kaylee Lanier had two hits each in the inning. Taylor Collins, Sunny Salzman and Sallie Marie Futch had the other three.
    Thomas Jefferson (9-9) touched BA starting pitcher Jacobs for one run in the top of the third off three Lady Jag hits.
    Bulloch got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Futch, Rachel Gilbert and Jacobs each hit singles to load the bases with no outs. But the Lady Gators could only push across one run when Gilbert scampered home on Lanier’s sacrifice fly to make it 10-1.
    Thomas Jefferson was held scoreless in the fourth by good defensive plays from the Lady Gators.
    “This season, when our fielding percentage is over .900,” said Dennard, “we have only lost one game. Hitting can come and go but you can play solid defense every day.”
    In the BA fourth, Kaylee Dennard beat out an infield single and Collins singled to right. Both raced around the bases to score when Gilbert’s high pop-up was dropped. Rebekah White ripped a triple down the right-field line, scoring Gilbert. White scored on another Thomas Jefferson error to put Bulloch up 14-1.
    Dennard experimented in the top of the fifth, putting Gilbert on the mound and shuffling his defense around to give some of his bench players a chance to hit the field.
    Both Bulloch and Thomas Jefferson advance to their respective state tournaments this Saturday at Southern Pines Regional Park in Dublin.
    Thomas Jefferson won Region 1-A and advances to the Class A tournament. Bulloch finished as the Region 2-AA runner-up. The Lady Gators will take on Piedmont Academy, the third seed from Region 1-AA, at 11:30 a.m.
    “Three of the top six teams in the state are in the same bracket,” said Dennard.
    In the most recent GISA Coaches Poll, the Lady Gators are tied for second with Brentwood while Arlington Christian is ranked fifth. According to GISA Stats website (, Piedmont’s record is 16-6, Brookwood is 10-7 and Arlington Christian is 9-3.